Under current federal law, employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, or genetic information is already prohibited. Sexual orientation, however, is not on the list. An employer could walk into work this morning, tell a gay employee, “I don’t like gay people, so you’re fired,” and that would be perfectly legal under federal law.
With this in mind, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was asked whether he’s comfortable with workplace discrimination against LGBT employees. The Republican presidential candidate responded:
“I think, really, the things you do in your house, just leave those in your house and it wouldn’t have to be part of the workplace, to tell you the truth.”
Remember the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy? Rand Paul apparently envisions applying this same dynamic to the entirely of private-sector workplaces throughout the United States. What could possibly go wrong?
Here’s the follow-up question for the senator: should the same standards be applied to everyone? I ask because Rand Paul has mentioned many times that he’s married and has children. He most certainly has not taken the things he’s done in his house and just left them in his house.
In other words, the Kentucky Republican brings elements of his private life – including his sexual orientation – to his workplace all the time. By all appearances, he considers it routine.
Does Paul consider it inappropriate when straight people talk about their spouses and/or kids at work? Should they be subject to dismissal if their employers are offended by their sexual orientation? Or does the Republican presidential candidate think different legal standards should be applied to different Americans?
As part of the same exchange, the senator added, “I think society is rapidly changing and that if you are gay, there are plenty of places that will hire you.”
Since when do Americans think this way? If you face employment discrimination, you don’t need legal protections, you just need a new job somewhere else?
Remember when Rand Paul – the “most interesting man in politics,” according to much of the media – would offer an exciting new message that would bring non-traditional voters into the Republican Party?
Nah, I don’t either.